Narrowleaf plantain

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated April 2019.

Scientific name: Plantago lanceolata  L.

Common name(s): narrowleaf plantain, English plantain, ribwort plantain

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-height of 30-60 cm

-basal rosette of leaves 10-30 cm

  • long linear and lanceolate


-open disturbed areas



Natural History:

-native to Eurasia

-medical uses going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans treating

  • herpes
  • skin infections
  • rabies
  • anti-inflammatory



Bajer, T., Bajer, T., Janda, V., Janda, V., Bajerová, P., Bajerová, P., . . . Ventura, K. (2016;2015;). Chemical composition of essential oils from plantago lanceolata L. leaves extracted by hydrodistillation. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 53(3), 1576-1584. doi:10.1007/s13197-015-2083-x